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Native American Culture/Native American DNA testing


QUESTION: I'v been reading up on questions about DNA test to confirm if someone has Native American blood in them. I had a Ethnicity & Paternal Lineage Y-Chromosome DNA tests through My reason in doing this was to find relatives in our Family Tree. My Paternal Haplogroup is R1b the Artisans. I asked if this test would tell if I had any Native American blood as well. They replied probably not. I also have been told by my parents that my Grand Mother who is my Fathers Mother was 1/2 Cherokee. This has been told to many people over the years. If my Grand Mother had a daughter who had a daughter and if she would take a DMA test. Would that help?

ANSWER: I'm not a geneticist, so I can only really answer your question as it would pertain to my knowledge of tribal enrollment requirements. These are established by each tribally sovereign Nation in the US, and vary by culture. The Cherokee have 2 sovereign locations in the US. The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, in Tahlequa, OK, and the Cherokee Tribe of North Carolina in Cherokee, NC. I believe that under the requirements for both, Nations, that if your grandmother was an enrolled individual, especially on your father's side, then you could be enrolled, providing you can provide documentation or they have her in their records.

If, however, you are just interested in knowing if you have some Native genetics, be aware that the newest findings in genome research have allowed scientists to track every modern human's genetics back to a single woman in East Africa some 2 Million years ago. If your people are from Eastern Europe, Turkey, Spain, Italy or the Middle East there may also be traces of Neanderthal bloodlines in your genetic makeup. Given that, the chance that you carry Native genes is pretty high. Hope this helps.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


I forgot to mention the my Great Grand Mother supposedly had unwanted sex with an Cherokee Indian eastern Ohio. So...maybe being from any particular region would not matter in this case.

Just a thought.


The style of the conception doesn't matter, except that Eastern Ohio is not Cherokee country, so quite probably the bloodlines carried by the "Indian" might be in question. That would mean your grandmother was probably not enrolled, which would probably make your search that much more difficult. Good luck.

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Richard Sutton


As a direct reservation trader in all aspects of American Indian arts since 1985, I've answered questions regarding cultural property issues, origins of traditional crafts, materials and techniques, collecting, authenticity, symbols and, of course, repairs! We have operated a retail gallery since that time, bricks and mortar until 2007 and online since 1996. Our online operation closed in 2/2015, to allow me to finally write full-time. My writing site can be found at I'll be adding a book or two from our trader experiences under the pen name of W.T. Durand and the rest of my fiction is under my own name. We are not "New Age" practitioners of adopted American Indian religious ceremonies or combined philosophies. If you are seeking such knowledge for spiritual reasons, we will only provide answers that address factual information on these subjects. Unless one is raised in a traditional, American Indian family with language, culture and religious belief intact, we don't believe that simply applying the trappings or cultural property of a given traditional group will give a non-Indian (Native if you prefer)any insight other than the academic.


My primary focus is on Southwester American Indian Nations and their people, but I also have experience in Plains and Northeastern traditions, having engaged in active trade and retail since 1985 and study for most of my life. I am not claiming any expertise at all in the work, techniques, lifeways or crafts that are made by the Native People of Mexico. They are not the same, either linguistically or culturally but certainly their crafts deserve discussion and appraisal by those who are able to provide real information.

I was a guest on Fox Network "Lifestyles" program, during the 1990s, to discuss how to tell forgeries, and authenticating jewelry as Native American work. I have also written extensively for our website, and our Ebay Store.

UofO, 1970 active in the Authentic American Indian Arts business and direct Trader since 1985. Graphic Designer and published novelist.

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